Daily Archives: December 22, 2011

Boehner Caves!

We enter the evening with Speaker John Boehner caving in to a growing chorus of criticism from both within and outside his Republican party. He has agreed to The Senate’s short-term deal to extend a payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans.

In a major reversal that appeared to end a standoff with Democrats, Boehner told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid he would set a vote in the House on a Senate-passed two-month extension of the payroll tax cut.

Boehner’s about-face contrasts with a year of Republican dominance in The House, in which a staunch opposition to higher taxes and spending yielded a string of political successes. Their backpedalling this time handed a rare victory to President Barack Obama and Democrats.

The vote to carry out the 60-day plan should take place tomorrow.

Happy Solstice… It’s the longest night of the year tonight…

They peg the Winter Solstice to this evening. As that great Alaskan blog, The Mudflats, pointed out:

This is one of those holidays that exists objectively, whether we want it or not. Every culture marked it, and every human has noticed it since the beginning of time. And nobody will change it to Monday so we get a long weekend, or combine it with another event and call it “Celestial Day.” It is what it is – simple, scientific, magical and beautiful.

So if you Celebrate the Solstice have a great night… and we can proceed onward to next Summer.

…and here’s a song from one of my favorite musicals, Rogers and Hart’s The Boys from Syracuse, “The Shortest Day of the Year:

Has the Republican House Sealed its Fate?

“Based on the historical record we can confidently predict that if a large number of incumbents lose their seats next November, it will be because 2012 is a wave election and that almost all of the defeated incumbents will come from the party on the losing side of the wave.”

– Alan I. Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory University

Boehner Leads the Ranks of the Inverted

So Boehner turned out the lights and sent the House home, even though Democrats were calling for a continuing discussion to get the interim Payroll bill of the Senate passed, giving 60 days to come up with the final compromise without attacking the economic lives of middle Americans.

Even the Wall Street Journal, not a left leaning publication, tried to get the Republican leader and his Tea Party Poopers to see the three reasons that made the House Majority the bad guys:

Reason #1: House Republicans allowed the Senate to break for the Christmas holiday without explicit orders it would need to come back. In fact, Politico notes that the silence from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is deafening. Reason #2: The Senate passed its legislation by a bipartisan 89-10 vote, raising the question whether a conference committee could produce a deal that could get 60-plus Senate votes. Reason #3: The House GOP didn’t allow an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill, suggesting that it could have passed if they did. Those three reasons will be hard for the House GOP to explain away if the tax cut expires after Dec. 31.”

We are left with no payroll tax cuts for 160 million workers and aid for several million long-term unemployed Americans expiring on Dec. 31. If the Republicans wanted to make Obama look good in this situation, they couldn’t have done it better.

The question now is what will the majority of Americans think when an extra cut comes out of their paychecks and they bring their anger into the public venue (think of the Occupy movement)? Too bad we can’t vote for House members tomorrow!